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80's 6.6L ford motor good for anything?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Bugman, Jul 11, 2005.

  1. F-ONE
    Joined: Mar 27, 2008
    Posts: 2,506

    F-ONE
    Member
    from Alabama

    Look at it like this.
    Sometimes a bad reputation is justly earned.
    My only real connection to this engine family was when I was 18 ear deep in transmission fluid doing an engine swap on my High School Chevrolet with my 14 year old brother. The 250 had give it up and I was replacing it with a small block 400.... You know, the real 400.:rolleyes:

    The neighbors up the street just got a late 70s Ford extend cab truck. This was 1990. Those folks didn't have much and boy they were proud of that new to them truck.

    The barn we were doing the work in was in sight of the road. They ( the two brothers about our age) knew us and would blow the horn as they drove by. Sometimes pointing and laughing. That was all in good fun at first but it soon got old. It was like this.
    1st Pass..... Hey!!! Nice truck.
    2nd Pass.... Hey. Wave
    3rd Pass..... Yep there they go
    4th Pass.... This is getting old
    5th Pass.... Ok Ya'll can kiss our asses.
    6th Pass.... I looked at my brother and said, " I wish that dang thing would blow up."

    I kid you not that joker did not go a half a mile and dropped a valve punching a hole through the block. That was it for that truck.
    I hated that for them and learned never wish for something you don't want.

    As far as the Modifieds go, why? There's so many cooler and better engines out there that can be built cheaper with more....Pedigree.
     
  2. R Pope
    Joined: Jan 23, 2006
    Posts: 3,309

    R Pope
    Member

    I had a few 400's. In stock form they are dogs. lousy gas mileage and no power. If I'm going to hop up an engine, I'll start with something that already has something going for it. 351 Windsor is my choice with the 460 a close second if you insist on a Ford.
     
  3. RichFox
    Joined: Dec 3, 2006
    Posts: 9,991

    RichFox
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    In '77 I bought a new Ford F100 with a 351M and C6. Primarily to pull my race car around. And over some pretty big hills between here and Bonneville or El Mirage. Which it did for the next 106,00 miles just fine. Since the 351 M is just a short stroke 400M I have to think a 400 would have been just as good.
     
  4. The big issue with the 400 (and the 351C & M) is the poor oiling system. Oil goes to the lifter galleys first, where it splits to the valve train and cam bearings. From the cam bearings to the mains, then the rods. When I was still working as a mechanic I had a customer who burned rod bearings twice on his 351C because he'd rev it up on cold starts before the oil light went out. Main/rod bearings started getting iffy at about 100K+ miles on stock motors. This was a problem for the racers too; all sorts of 'fixes' were tried, including oil restrictors in certain places (usually enough for a street motor), sleeved lifter bores, or simply blocking the stock passages and running external lines. When NASCAR went to small-blocks, Ford went back and cast a new race block that used 351C heads, crank, and deck height but used the 351W oiling system architecture.

    It does have one other thing going for it; it's lighter than the Y-block, FE or 429/460 by at least 50 lbs (more like 100 lbs compared to the 429) and certainly less bulky compared to the 429/460.
     
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2018
    sidevalve8ba likes this.
  5. LM14
    Joined: Dec 18, 2009
    Posts: 1,937

    LM14
    Member
    from Iowa

    You guys are killing me! It's a 351M/400 engine. There is no such thing as a 400M. It was the only 400 Ford built, no need to add the "M" to the end of it. Ford never called it that. The 351s needed the "M" as there was the 351W, 351C and 351M needed the letters to keep them straight. NO 400M!!!!!!

    Sorry, rant over,
    SPark
     
    George, sidevalve8ba and indyjps like this.
  6. MAD MIKE
    Joined: Aug 1, 2009
    Posts: 577

    MAD MIKE
    Member
    from 94577

    Hot Rod did a 400 build 20 years ago.
    http://www.hotrod.com/articles/hrdp-9809-ford-406-engine-build/
    Always wanted to pick-up an ugly 70's Ranchero and do something similar for a street parts beater.

    400 fit the niche that Ford needed in the late 70s. Torquey enough for tow duty, yet not 460 gas guzzling. As noted biggest problem with the 400/351M is that it uses the 385 series bellhousing which leaves you with C6 or massive truck transmissions as simple options. And they are kinda big, not FE 'medium' block nice, these engines were in 70's tanks.

    It would make a nifty pseudo Cleveland in a shoebox or truck.
     
    Clay Belt likes this.
  7. junkyardjeff
    Joined: Jul 23, 2005
    Posts: 7,818

    junkyardjeff
    Member

    There is a one year 400 block with a smallblock bellhousing bolt pattern and motor mounts,it was used in the mid size cars with the FMX trans in 73. I have been looking for one but have not found any.
     
    Ferdyeight and Clay Belt like this.
  8. Beanscoot
    Joined: May 14, 2008
    Posts: 1,860

    Beanscoot
    Member

    "If I'm going to hop up an engine, I'll start with something that already has something going for it."

    Like 400 cubic inches in a small block and Cleveland heads?

    When hopping up an engine, most of the stock stuff is thrown out anyway, so why does it matter if the engine is calibrated for low emissions, has low CR, poor timing etc.

    "it uses the 385 series bellhousing which leaves you with C6 or massive truck transmissions as simple options."
    As has been stated, a toploader bolts right up - using a stock 429/460 bellhousing.
     
  9. Didn't Kaase use a 400M to win Engine Masters Challenge ?
     
  10. Come on Indy
    Crack you up, rmk57 I bet but it gets even better.

    Because There's no way you're going to mount 4.8 or 5.3 ls based heads onto Any gen1 SBC block. I want to see that!

    My neighbor has a 400 core broken down into boxes he can't give away. I'm not a ford guy so I'm not much help to him. But if you want one, PM me and I'm sure you could get it for a case of beer.
     
  11. Clay Belt
    Joined: Jun 9, 2017
    Posts: 381

    Clay Belt
    Member

    Build it. What's the worst that happens, it moves?
     
  12. brianf31
    Joined: Aug 11, 2003
    Posts: 659

    brianf31
    Member

    Keith Black now makes a piston that will give around 9.3:1 CR with a near zero deck height and 76cc heads. It's KB2347. TMeyer carries them.

    Decent piston availability was always a problem so this is good for the 400. And with all the 351C-based heads out there now, you can make it breathe.
     
    indyjps likes this.
  13. indyjps
    Joined: Feb 21, 2007
    Posts: 4,074

    indyjps
    Member

  14. willowbilly3
    Joined: Jun 18, 2004
    Posts: 4,356

    willowbilly3
    Member Emeritus
    from Sturgis

    FWIW, the 400 was never called a 400M. It's just the 400. It came first and when the 351 of the same design came later, it was called the modified version, or M.
     
    sidevalve8ba likes this.
  15. Let me help you out.
    You're confused and mixing up engine families.

    chevy used the term advertising term "vortec" across several engine families.
    The latest generation is the LSX based engines. You called out and spec-ed the 4.8 and 5.3 vortec heads that belong to the truck version of the LSx engine family. These are all aluminum heads as well. Completely different, separate cathedral intake ports, separate exhaust ports and high rails for valve covers and not compatible with and earlier generation SBC. Theses are the heads you said to use.

    The 1996 thru 2001 SBC 5.0 and 5.7 (305 and350) heads found only in trucks and vans, are known as Vortec heads and these are the ones you mean and the ones in the article. They are identified by having only 4 intake bolts per head 8 total and those bolt holes are sraight up. They do use a center bolt valve cover but that isn't the thing to look at because the heads from 87 up all use center bolts valve covers with all sorts of intake configurations. Look at the intake bolts to ID these heads, or you'll get the wrong stuff.

    First is the 4.8 or 5.3 Vortec heads from the LSx truck engines that you said to use.
    image.png

    Here's the 96-2001 5.0/5.7 truck engine vortec heads
    image.png
     
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2018
    Sporty45 likes this.
  16. Yeah, multiple times. They re-wrote the rules to essentially outlaw his 400, and he still won with a Y-block and MEL later on.
     
    RMR&C likes this.
  17. Kaase is a genius.
     
  18. deathrowdave
    Joined: May 27, 2014
    Posts: 2,438

    deathrowdave
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from NKy

    I ran one for years with C cam , milled heads , E performer intake , HV oil pump , roller rockers . It was plenty strong enough in a 65 Comet to have some fun in . Just be aware it uses a special thermostat , there is no water in the intake . Don’t use the correct stat and it bypasses the engine , not so good on a hot day ! They are known for cracks in the valley into the oil rifle , when that happens oil pressure is almost nothing . That probably explains oiling issues . Most cracks were probably caused by overheating from wrong stat usuages . I would not be afraid to build a good one today and use it , not a drag race favorite but it is plenty strong design to pull a normal street driven rod around for many an enjoyable mile .
     
  19. RidgeRunner
    Joined: Feb 9, 2007
    Posts: 886

    RidgeRunner
    Member
    from Western MA

    Given the number of large displacement choices in '59 - "WOW" !

    Ed
     

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